Rumor: Zynga snags an EA executive, COO John Schappert

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John Schappert EAWhen you're competing against a monolithic company, you can't just buy them out like the rest. Though, no one ever said you can't buy out their employees. According to a Reuters report, Zynga has swept EA's chief operating officer, John Schappert, right from underneath the almost 30-year-old company's feet. The report cites "a source close to the matter," and mentions that a regulatory filing shows that the COO resigned from his EA position on Monday. (Geez, you'd think a major executive would take a little vacay every once in a while.)

This is far from the first time the Zynga has lured in an ex-EA senior employee. In 2009, the company took on former EA Los Angeles general manager Mike Verdu. And in 2010, Zynga reeled in Steven Chiang, who before that worked at EA Sports as vice president for a whopping 15 years. Colin Sebastian, an analyst for Lazard Captial Markets, says, "we see little near-term risk that the departure will impact EA's upcoming product releases."

The COO worked with EA for almost two years, and was a Microsoft employee for two more years prior, according to Reuters. Unfortunately, it's unknown what role Schappert might take on at Zynga. Regardless, this is certainly an about-face for Schappert, who just a year ago was preaching the good news of the triple-A games industry to VentureBeat. Perhaps, like all of us at times (because, you know, we're human), he saw bigger dollar signs elsewhere. We've contacted Zynga for comment.

[Via and Image Credit: SF Chronicle]

Do you think Schappert is smart to move from EA to Zynga? What do you expect he will be up to in his new home? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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